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City Encourages Citizens to Comment on Plans for Widening West 3 - KOAM TV 7

City Encourages Citizens to Comment on Plans for Widening West 32nd Street

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Joplin, MO -

32nd street is top of the list for capital improvement projects for the city of Joplin.

So the city is holding a public meeting to get citizens input on plans for making it wider and safer. 

New duplexes on 32nd street  are just one sign of development  that is adding more to the traffic flow on what many call a dangerous street.

Wildwood Ranch property owner Jimmer Pinjuv said, "We've have had all kinds of concerns expressed by people considering moving out here for residential purposes because of the danger they recognize on 32nd street because of the hills and the line of sight being so short."  

Those are things the city plans to fix when it widens 32nd to three lanes from Schifferdecker to Central city road. It is a twelve million dollar project. 

Dan Salisbury, assistant public works director said, "We're going to  clip off the top of the hills and fill in the valleys and improve the sight distance."

That’s good news for fire crews at the station number six located on West 32nd at Central City road. "Because there's hidden intersections,” said

Chief Jim Fergerson. “It’s very narrow, very hilly and there’s nowhere for cars to pull off on so this project widening it will not only make it safer for us but also all the people that are driving out there."

Planners will take property from both sides of the road.

Salisbury said they use cost as perspective, "because we want to minimize cost to taxpayers as a whole we try to miss homes and things like that. It just makes sense. It’s cheaper."

The owner of property on the south side of 32nd at Country Club road  didn't said she will lose her home and several out buildings in the widening of 32nd. It’s a place she's lived all her life, but she  just hopes to get  a fair  price for the property and was glad to get a several year notice that she’d have to move.

Salisbury estimates, "The whole 32nd street  corridor will likely be built in 2019."

The easement will come up to Ted Easley's  fence at his home located on 32nd near Schifferdecker at the entrance of the Sunset Ridge subdivision. But it won't take the fence or his yard. And while others aren't so lucky he's glad it’s getting wider. Easley said, “It’s part of city progress. What are you gonna do?  There’s got to be good traffic flow around the city and I think most residents understand that."

A roundabout is expected  go in first at the Central City intersection given a boost by donated land from Wildwood Ranch and St. Mary’s catholic church. Plus funds from the economic development administration monies for the library project. That will fast track that effort requiring it be built by summer of 2017.

The impact of taking property is different for residential owners as compared to Wildwood Ranch developer Pinjuv who expects to see improved traffic flow even while sacrificing property. Pinjuv said, "We're gonna lose some very expensive commercial corner there cause we plan a hotel on this corner. So that’s high dollar property but for us there's certainly a give and take. And the residential people, it’s gonna improve their safety, but probably doesn’t improve the value of their property the way it does mine.

Pinjuv said the widening can’t come soon enough as traffic is definitely increasing on 32nd. He said, “We’ve got two long term care facilities that will eventually be two hundred ninety rooms meaning two hundred ninety  patients. And typically one to one a quarter visitors per day out of each of them plus all the service trucks and employees.  They’ll be an additional three hundred employees so just there we've got three hundred trip traffic right there. And then probably another three hundred fifty with visitors and   probably another fifty a day with deliveries of foods, medicines, everything they need in those facilities. It’s really like a hospital and when these two buildings are complete we'll have rooms five hundred room on site which makes us bigger than either of the hospitals here in town so traffic’s gonna be immense.”  

Citizens can view the road expansion plans and make comments at an open house public meeting next Tuesday, August 2nd from 5:00pm to 7:00pm  at St. Mary’s parish center on 32nd and Central city.

Not only engineers but someone involved in future  acquisition of  property will be on hand.

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